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Washington Sleazoids Helping Putin Fight Sanctions

When John Breaux retired from the Senate nine years ago, he rode off to a chorus of lamentations — the chummy centrist deal-maker, loved and respected by all, willing to put pragmatism ahead of ideology. Breaux, of course, immediately became a lobbyist, along with fellow former senator Trent Lott. Their latest coup is Gazprombank, on whose behalf they will now deploy their legendary charm and influence.


Man Gets New Job

Dave Weigel, the brand-name political journalist who resigned from the Washington Post following the Journolist scandal, announced today that he's leaving Slate to join Bloomberg Politics to work on "an ambitious political magazine run by the sort of geniuses who made Bloomberg Businessweek into a great print mag, and New York's political coverage a daily most-read." He'll join Game Change co-authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the yet-to-be-named venture.

What Eric Cantor Is Really Going to Do on Wall Street

Today brings the utterly unsurprising news that Eric Cantor is headed to Wall Street.

The ousted House majority leader and longtime friend of the financial industry is joining Moelis & Company as a vice-chairman. His paycheck? At least $1.6 million in 2015, plus a million-dollar signing bonus. His duties? To “compete for business and advise corporate and investor clients on takeovers and other deals,” according to The Wall Street Journal. But I get the feeling that won’t be all Cantor will be doing, given his relationships on the Hill and total lack of investment-banking experience.

But how does influence-peddling work in 2014? What do these politicians really do when they end up on Wall Street? To shed some light on those questions, I spoke this morning with Dennis Kelleher. He’s a former corporate lawyer and longtime Senate staffer who now heads the nonprofit Better Markets, the banking lobby’s lonely public-interest opposition in Washington.


Bedazzled Bikinis and Heavy Plumage at the West Indian Day Parade

Yesterday marked the conclusion of the 47th annual West Indian Day Carnival — a two-mile-long Labor Day parade that runs along Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway through Crown Heights, drawing more than 1 million performers and spectators. This year’s festivities included the usual jubilant Caribbean music and dance celebrations, as well as a special performance of the de Blasio "Smackdown." 


Darren Wilson Supporters Prefer You Just Buy T-shirts While They Work Out Their Fund-raiser Tax Issues

Two separate GoFundMe pages soliciting donations for the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown shut down mysteriously over the weekend because they have no idea how to handle the nearly half a million they've collected so far. Support Officer Darren Wilson ($235,550) and Support Officer Wilson ($197,620) are no longer accepting money for now, but there are other ways for anonymous angry racists to rep the cause: "please continue to Support Darren Wilson by purchasing shirts, hats, & bracelets (coming soon)," says an affiliated Facebook group.


Despite Having the Most German-Sounding Name Possible, Uber Just Got Banned in Germany

Uber ist verboten — in Germany, at least.

A Frankfurt court ruled today that the car-hailing app is temporarily banned across Germany following a lawsuit from the nation's taxi industry that accused Uber's drivers of operating without the necessary permits. Uber is appealing the decision, but for now it can be fined up to $328,000 for continuing to operate Uber Pop, the German version of UberX, anywhere within the country.


Penn Station Garbage Food May Get Slightly Less Garbage-y

Penn Station, New York's premier transit hub atop the mouth of hell, is notorious for its garbage food options, such as a sad, filthy Pizza Hut and a Krispy Kreme selling radioactive, glazed crullers. But in the next few months, many of the vendors at the station are expected to be replaced with new restaurants peddling actually edible food. We won't miss you, TGI Fridays.

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